Well, it’s back to The Outlander series for me. These books are so incredibly addicting…but so long. I feel like I have just read three books in one. (742 pages of a giant hardcover book is about equal to three shorter novels if I do say so myself. Actually, it is about right. Recob finished three shorter novels of a similar subject in the time it took me to finish this one!)
Anyway, Dragonfly in Amber was great. Despite its length, the novel kept me extremely interested. (It helped that for most of the time I was reading, Recob was ahead of me by multiple chapters so my goal was to catch up to her – which I did! I also had to finish the beast of a book before it was due at the library on the 13th – beat that too!)
So, a little recap: We left off the last book with Claire helping Jaime escape from the English prison where he was tortured. They left for France and ended up at a monastery run by a relative of Jaime’s. With Claire’s help, Jaime recovered from his fragile mental and physical state of health while at the abbey.
Dragonfly in Amber opens with a new storyline. Claire and Brianna, her daughter who we’ve never met before, visit a young historian in 1968 Scotland. He is the adopted son of a historian Claire and her husband knew in the 40s. Claire eventually begins to tell her story to this historian and her daughter, who is actually Jaime’s daughter. (Yes, she was conceived in the 1740s and time-traveled in Claire’s womb to the 1940s. I never said this book was completely historically accurate or even made much sense at all…) Needless to say, they find it shocking and think Claire has gone pretty bonkers.
But Claire doesn’t falter. She continues to tell her story. From days spent planning at the abbey along the coast, to condemning a ship full of expensive spirits, to consorting with mysterious herbalists, to dining at Versailles with the king, Jaime and Claire have many an adventure in France. A lucky family connection to a major liquor merchant with important societal connections in Paris helps place Claire and Jaime right where they want to be: in a place to play double agent. While consorting with the society of Paris, Jaime keeps up a friendship with Bonnie Prince Charles – the son of the self-proclaimed rightful king of Scotland. Because of Claire’s knowledge about the defeat of Scottish troops in the upcoming Jacobite, or Scottish loyalist, uprising, Claire and Jaime are determined to stop Bonnie Prince Charles from carrying out his plans to reclaim the throne.
There are side plots of course. The pair meet Mary Hawkins, a girl Claire knows to be a descendant of her 1940s husband. The problem is, Jonathan Randall, the man who tortured Jaime, was supposed to be the father of Mary Hawkins’ child. But he is dead. The situation is complicated when Mary Hawkins’ creepy uncle, the Duke of Sandringham, is out to have her married off to an old French noble. The man whose ship Claire condemns by pronouncing a crew member has smallpox is out to get her and might be dabbling in the occult. Or is he? A fellow socialite and friend of Claire becomes pregnant with Bonnie Prince Charles’ illegitimate son. Claire meets an herbalist who spreads rumors that she is “La Dame Blanche” – she just can’t get rid of those witch rumors. Jaime is attacked by pirates then arrested for dueling. And so much more.
It would be impossible for me to recap the entire plot, but let’s just say a few more things: Murtagh, Jaime’s right-hand man, is kickass, Claire may or may not find another woman who has experienced the time travel of the stones, and the book ends with a major, and WONDERFUL, unexpected twist.
So now I have to read the next novel in the series: Voyager. I didn’t think I was going to continue reading the series, but after the last few paragraphs of Dragonfly in Amber, I won’t be able to help myself. I think I’ll try to finish a few more books before I start that beast, though.